Monday 22 January 2018

GAA sees rise in revenue and gate receipts despite falling attendances

4 September 2016; The Artan Band leads both teams out ahead of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
4 September 2016; The Artan Band leads both teams out ahead of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon

The GAA’s revenue increased by 7% in 2016 despite falling attendances

Attributable primarily to a number of high-profile replays last year, gate receipts were up by 12% across all League and All-Ireland Championship matches in both codes, from €26.7m in 2015 to €30m last year.

Total revenues shot from €56.6m to €60.5m over the same period while the Association’s total income across all its units and companies rose to over €100m.

Predictably, last year’s All-Ireland football final replay between Dublin and Mayo came as a major boon to the GAA’s accounts, contributing to a €2m lift in gate receipts across the football Championship.

Croke Park cut stand ticket prices from €80 to €60 for that October decider, a smaller reduction on the three All-Ireland hurling final replays between 2012 and ’14, when they were priced at €50.

In hurling, the All-Ireland semi-final replay between Kilkenny and Waterford in Thurles generated almost €1m for the GAA, though the competition as a whole saw a more modest 2% increase.

Clare’s League decider replay with Waterford helped push receipts from that competition up 15%.

With commercial, sponsorship and media revenues along with state funding largely stagnant, the lift in gate receipts comes as GAA Congress prepares to vote on a proposal later this month that will, if passed, remove all replays outside of All-Ireland and provincial finals.

The figures, released today, may yet influence the vote on a motion designed to free up more time for a rescheduled club programme.

Attendances for football championship matches were down 7%, from an average of 17,284 in 2015 to 15,660 last year.

Hurling attendances also dropped 1% from a mean of 22,818 to 22,456, meaning the crowds for the GAA’s marquee competitions dropped approximately 5%.

“This,” according to the GAA’s Director of Finance Tom Ryan at this morning’s media briefing, “is clearly cause for concern.”

In total, gate receipts represented almost 50% of GAA revenue though hire of Croke Park for entertainment events continues to be a major source of income for the Association.

Two Bruce Springsteen and one Beyonce concert generated €4.8m for the GAA coffers last year.

Overall, Ryan described 2016 as a “good, stable, encouraging year” for the GAA.

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